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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

  • Wed, Jun. 17, 3:26 PM
    • With its Chinese sales continuing to fall in the wake of the 2013 NSA spying scandal and non-stpp hacking accusations between the U.S. and China, Cisco (CSCO +1.1%) says it will invest over $10B in the Middle Kingdom over the next several years, in partnership with local firms and institutions.
    • Details about Cisco's spending plans are vague; the company says its funds will go towards equity investments, job creation, and R&D, among other things. The announcement followed meetings between senior Cisco execs, Chinese vice premier Wang Yang, and other government officials.
    • The news follows a WSJ report that several Chinese Cisco execs have been asked to step down, and come as Chuck Robbins gets set to take office as CEO, replete with a new management team.
    • Cisco's Chinese product orders fell 20% Y/Y in the April quarter; all other Asia-Pac markets were up a combined 8%. In February, Reuters reported Cisco's products had disappeared from a Chinese government list of approved products.
  • Thu, Jun. 11, 10:09 AM
    • Shortly after announcing a debt offering of undisclosed size to help pay for capital returns, Cisco (CSCO +1.7%) has announced it's selling $5B worth of senior unsecured notes.
    • The notes have maturity dates ranging from 2018-2025, and sport interest rates ranging from 3-month LIBOR + 31 bps to 3.5%. As previously stated, the funds will at least partly be used to pay for dividends/buybacks.
    • Meanwhile, Cisco has continued its Live conference product launches by unveiling an expansion of its Intercloud cloud services platform. A variety of popular cloud developer environments (Docker, Apprenda, etc.) and open-source cloud app platforms (OpenShift, Cloud Foundry, etc.) are now supported, and partnerships have been struck with 35 independent software vendors.
    • Cisco is also rolling out services meant to work with IoT devices and extend the reach of enterprise big data/analytics projects, and (notably) to manage hybrid clouds consisting of Intercloud services and enterprise private clouds. Microsoft and VMware have made hybrid cloud management a big selling point for their cloud platforms.
    • Cisco says Intercloud is now offered via 65 service provider partners, and has 100+ customers. Last week, the company announced it's buying OpenStack cloud management software vendor Piston Cloud Computing to strengthen both Intercloud and its private cloud offerings.
    • Yesterday: Cisco plans debt offering, updates SDN platform, outlines security strategy
  • Wed, Jun. 10, 12:03 PM
    • Cisco (CSCO +1.9%) plans an offering of senior unsecured notes; its size and pricing haven't yet been determined. Net proceeds will be used to help pay for dividends/buybacks, and for other "general corporate purposes."
    • The networking giant had $54.4B in cash at the end of its April quarter, but much of it was offshore. Debt stood at $21B.
    • Separately, Cisco has used its annual Live conference to announce a refresh for its ACI SDN/network virtualization software platform, as well as additional SDN features for its Nexus data center switch lineup. New ACI features include better integration with Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and System Center systems management tools, better multi-site support and operational ease-of-use, and (with the help of partner CliQr) automated app deployment.
    • An SDK supporting 3rd-party app development for Nexus switches been unveiled, and so have new top-of rack Nexus switches. One delivers up to 128 25-gig ports, and another up to 64 40-gig ports.
    • Cisco says it now has 2,655 Nexus + ACI customers, and over 585 customers for its APIC SDN controller. The company has been selling clients on ACI's hardware/software integration and support for deep network/app visibility, as it looks to fend off VMware's (NYSE:VMW) rival NSX platform, which can work with commodity hardware.
    • Also: Looking to keep fast-growing upstrarts such as Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet at bay, Cisco has unveiled a security strategy that centers around embedding security features throughout its hardware lineup, as well as providing endpoint security software. As part of the effort, Cisco plans to extend the network reach of its FirePOWER security services, and better integrate its NetFlow network monitoring platform with its ISE security policy platform.
    • Shares are rallying on an up day for equities.
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  • Tue, Jun. 9, 1:42 PM
    • Summit Research's Srini Nandury thinks Nimble Storage's (NYSE:NMBL) recent rally has been fueled by M&A hopes ... and considers them justified. He believes Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), EMC, and NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) could be among the larger OEMs willing to bid for the hybrid storage array upstart.
    • Nandury: "Given that Nimble is one of the best Hybrid storage assets in the market, any buyout offer for Nimble will likely trigger a bidding war as we had seen previously with both Data Domain and 3Par. And, given that Nimble is executing solidly in both SMB and enterprise storage environments, and is expected to roll out both NAS and Object storage in the near-term (12-18 months) and will most likely get acquired, we reiterate our BUY rating on the stock and maintain our $40 PT."
    • EMC has bought flash array vendors XtremIO and DSSD; Cisco has bought flash vendor Whiptail; and hard drive giants Seagate and Western Digital have also used M&A to expand their flash offerings. NetApp has relied more on internal R&D to flesh out its product line, but the company's recent top-line woes and CEO change have fueled speculation it could turn to M&A.
    • Of note: With a market cap of $2.2B (a deal premium could bring it near $3B), Nimble would be digestible for larger industry players, but not cheap.
  • Thu, Jun. 4, 9:22 AM
    • Hilton Romanski, formerly Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) head of M&A strategy, is the company's new CTO/chief strategy officer. He replaces Padmasree Warrior, who was recently reported to be departing. (Press Release)
    • Officially, Warrior will transitioning to a "strategic advisor" role, as will services SVP Edzard Overbeek. Replacing Overbeek is Joe Cozzolino, formerly the head of Cisco's service provider mobility and video infrastructure ops.
    • EMEA/Russia sales chief Chris Dedicoat has been named Cisco's SVP of worldwide sales, and go-to-market chief Karen Walker is now chief marketing officer.
    • CIO Rebecca Jacoby has been named Cisco's SVP of operations. She'll "oversee the global supply chain, global business services, security and trust, and IT." IT exex Guillermo Diaz has been promoted to CIO.
    • Recently-appointed CFO Kelly Kramer maintains her position, and Pankaj Patel is still in charge of Cisco's tech portfolio and ~25K development engineers.
    • Cisco adds it "plans to conduct a comprehensive external search to fill a number of leadership roles for key strategic growth areas for the company." Incoming CEO Chuck Robbins has provided a blog post with more details about the appointments.
    • CSCO -0.5% premarket to $28.96, following equity futures lower.
    • Three days ago: Cisco presidents Lloyd, Moore leaving
  • Wed, Jun. 3, 1:26 PM
    • IBM (IBM +0.1%) has acquired Blue Box, a provider of managed cloud services for companies deploying private and hybrid clouds based on the open-source OpenStack cloud infrastructure (IaaS) platform.
    • Cisco (CSCO +0.1%) is buying Piston Cloud Computing, a provider of software (called CloudOS) for managing and deploying services on commodity servers running OpenStack, as well as popular big data/analytics software platforms such as Hadoop and Spark. Terms for both deals are undisclosed.
    • IBM, whose SoftLayer unit already offers OpenStack services, will use Blue Box to "help businesses rapidly integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premises systems into OpenStack-based managed cloud," and that the deal allows it to offer a remotely-managed OpenStack private cloud solution.
    • Cisco asserts Piston and its engineers will "help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities" of its Intercloud platform, which (via service provider partners) provides a network of OpenStack cloud infrastructures running on Cisco hardware and software, and within which workloads can be moved between data centers. It also expects Piston to strengthen its OpenStack private cloud offering, the fruits of last year's acquisition of private cloud services provider Metacloud.
    • IBM ended Q1 on a $3.8B/year run rate for its various "cloud delivered as a service" offerings. Synergy Research believes IBM is the third-largest player in the public/private/hybrid cloud services space, trailing Amazon (easily the market leader) and Microsoft.
    • Many tech/telecom giants have embraced OpenStack in their efforts to compete against Amazon, Microsoft, and Google's proprietary platforms. Rackspace (RAX +0.7%) remains a top independent OpenStack provider
  • Tue, Jun. 2, 6:41 PM
    • Meg Whitman states at HP's (NYSE:HPQ) annual Discover conference the company's PC/printing spinoff will go into effect on Nov. 1, the start of HP's FY16.
    • HP has also used the event to announce a partnership with fast-growing data center switch vendor Arista (NYSE:ANET) to provide a joint reference architecture for deployments combining Arista's switches, HP's servers and storage, and HP's OneView data center management software. The solution is partly aimed at common rival Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), which offers solutions pairing its UCS servers and Nexus data center switches.
    • Other HP announcements: 1) A new hardware line for its 3PAR StoreServe array family (the StoreServe 20000) declared to provide flash capacity for 25% less than older offerings, as well as much-improved storage densities. 2) Helion CloudSystem 9.0, a new version of HP's cloud management software that supports Amazon Web Service, Microsoft's Azure, and OpenStack, among other cloud environments.
    • Arista rose 2.7% in regular trading. After the close, Nomura launched coverage with a Buy rating and $79 target.
  • Mon, Jun. 1, 2:54 PM
    • Cisco (CSCO +0.1%) CTO and chief strategy officer (CSO) Padmasree Warrior will be joining presidents Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore out the door before Chuck Robbins takes office as CEO, Re/code reports. Warrior has been Cisco's CTO since 2008, and its CSO since 2012.
    • Meanwhile, Robbins has written a blog post noting Lloyd and Moore's pending departures, and his planned reorg. "Going forward, we will move to a flatter leadership team designed for the speed, innovation and execution that is required of us over the next decade ... I will announce my next generation organizational structure and my leadership team within two weeks."
    • Earlier: Cisco presidents Lloyd, Moore leaving as Robbins takes over
  • Mon, Jun. 1, 9:36 AM
    • COO Gary B. Moore and Development and Sales chief Rob Lloyd plan to leave Cisco (CSCO +0.5%) on July 25, the day before field operations SVP Chuck Robbins takes over as CEO. In addition, Robbins plans to unveil a "flatter" leadership structure on June 11.
    • Moore and Lloyd were both named company presidents in 2012, fueling speculation they were the front-runners to replace John Chambers. Lloyd, in particular, became seen as Chambers' most likely successor.
    • The announcement comes ahead of Cisco's June 8/9 investor meetings, which will be help amid the June 7-11 Cisco Live! conference.
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  • Thu, May 28, 4:36 PM
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  • Thu, May 21, 9:30 AM
    • Alongside Goldman's list of 50 stocks appearing most as top holdings at hedge funds is its list of the 50 top shorts.
    • New additions this quarter: Baxter Intl (NYSE:BAX), UPS, Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR), NextEra (NYSE:NEE), Ford (NYSE:F), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Pioneer Natural (NYSE:PXD), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).
    • The full list (in order of $ value of short interest): AT&T (NYSE:T), Disney (NYSE:DIS), IBM, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), J&J (NYSE:JNJ), Deere (NYSE:DE), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Exelon (NYSE:EXC), GE, Boeing (NYSE:BA), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), UTX, Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), Merck (NYSE:MRK), (NYSE:CRM), AbbVie (ABBV), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Emerson (NYSE:EMR), McDonald's (MCD), Reynolds (NYSE:RAI), Target (NYSE:TGT), Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).
  • Wed, May 13, 5:33 PM
    • During Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) FQ3 earnings call, John Chambers said he "would not bet" on a security M&A rumor heard today.
    • That was an apparent reference to FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), whose shares jumped on unconfirmed rumors that Cisco had made a bid.
    • FireEye has fallen to $41.71 in AH trading following Chambers' remarks. Shares are still up $0.41 from Monday's close.
  • Wed, May 13, 5:00 PM
    • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) guides on its FQ3 CC (webcast) for 1%-3% Y/Y FQ4 revenue growth and EPS of $0.55-$0.57, in-line with a consensus for 1.9% growth and EPS of $0.56.
    • Product orders rose only 2% Y/Y in FQ3, a slowdown from FQ2's 5%. Service provider orders (-7%, with U.S. down 17%) remain a weak spot, as do emerging markets (flat, with BRIC markets declining). Enterprise and public sector orders (up 7% apiece, with U.S. orders respectively rising 21% and 24%) were healthier, as were SMB orders (+6%). Americas and EMEA orders were both up 2%, and Asia-Pac 1% (8% exc. China).
    • Product line performance: Switching revenue +6% Y/Y in FQ3 to $3.56B. Routing +4% to $2B. Collaboration +7% to $973M. Service provider video -5% to $914M. Data center (UCS servers) +21% to $801M. Wireless +9% to $611M. Security +14% to $412M.
    • Some strong points: 1) Meraki Wi-Fi hardware/software sales rose 92% Y/Y. 2) Orders for Cisco's APIC SDN controllers rose 27% Q/Q, and APIC customer count to 580 from 300+. 3) Security order growth (benefiting from broader cybersecurity demand) topped revenue growth. 4) In spite of soft carrier capex, high-end routing rose 5%, driven by CRS-X and NCS core router demand.
    • CSCO now -1% AH to $29.06.
    • FQ3 results, details
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  • Wed, May 13, 4:26 PM
    • Cisco's (NASDAQ:CSCO) product sales continued rebounding in FQ3 following a late-2013/early-2014 slump: They rose 6% Y/Y to $9.33B. Services revenue (relatively stable) rose 3% to $2.81B.
    • Financials: Gross margin came in at 62.5%, topping guidance of 61%-62% and boosting EPS. GM was up 80 bps Q/Q and down 20 bps Y/Y. Thanks in part to job cuts, GAAP operating expenses rose a modest 3% Y/Y to $4.6B - $2.4B was spent on sales/marketing, $1.5B on R&D, and $510M on G&A. The deferred revenue balance rose 8% Y/Y to $14.2B.
    • $1B was spent on buybacks, down slightly from FQ2's $1.2B. $5.3B is currently left on Cisco's buyback authorization. Cisco ended FQ3 with $54.4B in cash (much of it offshore), and $21B in debt.
    • CSCO -0.2% AH - many expected solid numbers. CC at 4:30PM ET (webcast), guidance will be provided.
    • FQ3 results, PR
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  • Wed, May 13, 4:06 PM
    • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO): FQ3 EPS of $0.54 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $12.1B (+4.9% Y/Y) beats by $30M.
    • Shares -0.14%.
    • Press Release
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  • Wed, May 13, 9:26 AM
    • EZchip (NASDAQ:EZCH) uses its Q1 report to state its largest customer (i.e. Cisco) doesn't currently plan to use EZchip's NPS-400 network processor (NPU) in its next-gen edge router line cards.
    • The company adds Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) recently began using EZchip's NP-5 NPU (entered production in late 2014), that it doesn't think "a next generation successor for the NP-5 is likely to ship for approximately three years," and that the NP-5 is expected to "continue generating revenues at this customer for several more years beyond this three year period."
    • Concerns that Cisco could drop EZchip in favor of an in-house NPU have been around since the networking giant unveiled its nPower X1 NPU in Sep. 2013. At the time, EZchip said it believes Cisco hasn't made a decision on which processor will succeed the NP-5.
    • Today,  EZchip says it believes Cisco's next-gen edge router line cards will require more throughput than is provided by the NPS-400 (480 Gbps), and that Cisco is "currently developing such a solution in-house." EZchip, for its part, is working on an NPS-400 successor (the 1Tbps NPS-1000) that it hopes to sell Cisco on. The NPS-400 begins sampling in 2H15, and is being considered for other platforms at Cisco (as well as other clients).
    • EZchip has tumbled to $14.28 in premarket trading.
    • Q1 results, PR
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Company Description
Cisco Systems Inc is engaged in designing, manufacturing and selling of Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry.